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Effects of Nutrition and Time of Weaning on Dry Season Liveweight Loss of Breeder Cows

Dixon, R. M. and Hirst, D. J. (2000) Effects of Nutrition and Time of Weaning on Dry Season Liveweight Loss of Breeder Cows. In: Animal Production for a Consuming World. AAAP-ASAP Conference, 2nd - 7th July, Sydney, Australia.


Publisher URL: http://www.asap.asn.au/index.php


In the seasonally dry tropics of northern Australia, breeder cows may lose up to 30% liveweight during the dry season when pasture is of low nutritive value. This is a major cause of low reproductive rates and high mortality. Weaning early in the dry season is effective to reduce this liveweight loss of the breeder (Holroyd et al. 1988). An experiment examined the dry season liveweight loss of breeders for a range of weaning times and levels of nutrition.
From April to October through the dry season, 209 Bos indicus x Shorthorn cross cows 4-6 years of age grazed speargrass pastures in north Queensland. The cows had been joined with bulls from late January until April. Twenty-nine breeders had not suckled a calf during the previous wet season (DRY cows). In addition 180 cows lactating in April were weaned in late April, mid July or early September. The cows were allocated by stratified randomisation based on lactational status, stage of pregnancy and body condition to 15 x 40 ha paddocks. Five paddocks with low fertility soils provided LOW nutrition, while 10 paddocks with medium fertility soils and no supplementation or with supplementation provided MEDIUM and HIGH nutrition, respectively. The supplement consisted of molasses containing 14% urea offered ad libitum.
Liveweight was measured at intervals and conceptus-free liveweight (CF-LW) calculated. Data were analyses by AOV within groups of paddocks.

Animal production for a consuming world : proceedings of 9th Congress of the Asian-Australasian Association of Animal Production Societies [AAAP] and 23rd Biennial Conference of the Australian Society of Animal Production [ASAP] and 17th Annual Symposium of the University of Sydney, Dairy Research Foundation, [DRF]. 2-7 July 2000, Sydney, Australia.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information:© AAAP 2000. Asian-Australasian Association of Animal Production and Australian Society of Animal Production.
Keywords:Liveweight; Cows; Nutrition; Weaning; Pasture production.
Subjects:Animal culture > Feeds and feeding. Animal nutrition
Animal culture > Cattle
Live Archive:15 Mar 2005
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:47

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